The creative process of putting together our boxes evolved naturally. Once deciding on the focus, the Montessori approach led the way in creating a child-led, hands-on learning experience. We offer Practical Life tools such as tongs, and little by little, with increasing control, your child will become more confident to use tools purposefully and build up their fine motor skills.

Each box contains a Forest School activity for your child to take outside, designed to engage children with nature and enable connectivity and calmness. Whatever the weather, spotting lots of different wildlife, creating adventures under trees, uses both physical and creative energy and helps build confidence and happy childhood memories.

Reggio Emilia inspires our creativity and helps us to give your child rich experiences. We offer both a child-led and a Parent and Child creative project in each box. Once you’ve helped to set up the child activity, stand back and let them explore – remember it’s about the process, not just the end result.

In Steiner, handcrafts are an important part of the daily rhythm – the teacher perhaps quietly sewing in the corner fosters curiosity. Our Parent and Child craft is a time to work together and introduce new skills. We want to ignite passion to learn more and offer extensions to perhaps revisit another day.

Peas and Pod is so much more than a subscription box, it’s an educational journey that we hope will inspire your parenting and help to create daily rhythms and build family traditions.

We cover the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) key learning areas within each of our boxes:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Sensorial

The Montessori sensorial exercises were designed to help children develop and refine their five senses – sight, taste, touch, smell and sound. All the materials are purposeful to help refine the senses as well as intellect. They provide the child with the basis of pre-mathematical and language skills, and employ activities such as:

  • Pairing
  • Grading
  • Sorting
  • Discrimination

The 5 characteristics of sensorial materials:

  • Isolation of a single sense
  • Purposeful activity using movement and sensorial exploration
  • Control of error
  • Creative possibilities
  • Aesthetics

Practical Life

Practical life activities are sometimes called ‘areas of everyday living’ and are exercises that children carry out in order to learn how to care for themselves and the environment they live in.

Aims:

  • Build independence and self-confidence
  • Build and refine fine-motor skills
  • Build hand-to-eye coordination
  • Develops concentration

In a Montessori classroom they are broken down into categories :

  • Preliminary Exercises – carrying objects, opening and closing, pouring and spooning, etc.
  • Care of Person – washing hands, blowing nose, cleaning teeth, dressing, etc.
  • Care of the Environment – sweeping, polishing, setting a table, arranging flowers, etc
  • Grace and Courtesy – catching your cough, introducing, interrupting, offering help, etc.
  • Control of Movement – walking, silence game, mindfulness

Language

In EYFS this is known as Language and Literacy. Montessori literacy materials are carefully designed to help children build component skills towards reading and writing. Using sandpaper letters and then the moveable alphabet, children explore phonetic sounds, composing words phonetically and then spelling and writing.

Mathematics

The foundations that Montessori materials lay are fundamental to introducing maths as interesting and exciting. Many adults dislike maths because they never had the seed planted to give them the ‘passion for maths‘ to consolidate their understanding.

The early Montessori mathematics is introduced through the Practical Life exercises such as sequencing, and sorting and order. Further foundations are laid with the hands-on sensorial multi-sensory materials, to develop order, sequencing, diameter, size, colour, flat and 3D shapes. Refining both the fine and gross motor skills provides excellent preparation for later academics.

Cultural

In EYFS this is known as ‘Understanding The World’. Montessori cultural activities enable the child to enrich their understanding of the world and their place in it, and includes geography, history, general science, botany and zoology. The activities also help the child to experience music, art and stories from their own and different society, cultural and community backgrounds.

About the Author: Helen Griffiths

Helen is a creative director and designer, holistic health practitioner and mother to a very active 3-year-old